If you've looked around the office and seen glazed-over eyes and boredom creases marking your employees' faces, you're not alone. According to an annual Gallup poll, 87 percent of global workers are not engaged at work.
Disengaged workers are not fully invested in the company's mission and long-term goals. Passively disengaged employees arrive at work on time, do the bare minimum and clock out exactly at five in the evening. Actively disengaged workers spread negativity throughout the office and cause all kinds of problems.
Rather than looking at this group as a risk to be dealt with, consider it an opportunity for growth. Here are three ways to increase employee engagement at your organization:
1. Give them the training and tools to succeed
Hiring great people is one of the first steps to building a successful company. But you can't stop there. Once you have the people, you need to empower them to become effective workers. The Society for Human Resource Management noted that training sessions give employees time to adapt to new processes, gain deeper insight into their role and better understand how they contribute to the organization's success.
Organizational development specialist and assistant professor at the University of Louisville Brad Shuck told SHRM that employee training has benefits that stretch beyond the basic absorption of new knowledge. Training impacts company culture, employer brand and quality of service.
"The more the employee feels the company is investing in their future, the higher the level of engagement," Shuck said.
Modern employees do not like feeling stuck in one position. They want to grow and become better professionals. In fact, Gallup reported that development opportunities are among the top criteria millennial job seekers use to vet potential employers.
2. Understand what drives employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is directly related to engagement. When workers feel that the work they do is meaningful, they are more likely to feel a sense of fulfillment. This should be an easy concept to relate to. You are probably a lot more careful when handling your brand new, latest-edition smart phone, but chances are, that phone from two generations ago gets tossed across the couch like a bocce ball.
Over time, one's job can start to feel like an outdated phone: It just doesn't give the same sense of satisfaction that it once did. Employers need to recognize this and they need to track employee satisfaction metrics to determine what causes dissatisfaction and when it is necessary to try something new.
"Beyond metrics, it is also vital for managers to engage with their teams and listen to their issues," says Michelle Thompson, Human Resources Manager for Beacon Hill Staffing Group. "Identifying areas of interest or concern is important to build working relationships and be successful as a team."
When employees feel that they are listened to, they will be less likely to develop resentment against their employer. Make your engagement efforts about your employees as people, and not just human capital, and you will see more opportunities to increase engagement.
3. Don't try to be sneaky about it
Helping your employees better engage with their work isn't like getting a pet to take a pill. You don't need to dress up your strategy with obfuscating language or somehow trick workers into spending their time more wisely. If your goal is to increase engagement, be transparent about it.
No one enjoys work that isn't engaging and few people start a job with the intention of just coasting by. Chances are your workers would like to be more engaged, but are having difficulties doing so. Start a conversation, solicit feedback and be honest. If you're caught trying to manipulate your employees into doing more work, your reputation as an employer will suffer.
For more tips on creating a productive and efficient work environment, check out our resource center.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.